For me, faith comes down to the experience and exercise of basic trust.
I’ve been absent from here for a while. About 6 weeks to be exact. If you are a regular reader of Words of Wisdom?, you may have wondered what was going on. You might have concluded that I had just walked away. You may have given up looking for anything here.
I hope not. Truth is, life just got too busy for me, and the truth of a saying became my reality. When you say yes to something, you are automatically saying no to something else. I’ve said yes to a lot of things. Which means I’ve automatically said no to a number of things–including being able to write here regularly.
What I want to acknowledge is that faith, like this little daily reflection venture, is a two way street. Faith requires extending trust in someone, some thing, some set of events. Those people, things and events also extend some trust toward us.
Ponder that for a while. If there is no extension of trust, we are not talking about faith.
What is the nature of your ability to extend trust–and to receive trust from others?
Faith is trust in the other. I have faith in UUCG and I am working to have faith in myself. There is so much here to reflect on and ponder. Forgiveness, faith and trust come up for me in the moment. Pondering.
This is something that the Rev. Cliff Elliott used to say–not only say, but teach. He used to do a workshop that would lead you to consider the things you rely on every day–things that, literally, you put faith in in order to live your life. Cliff saw faith everywhere, and in everyone–and for good reason, he would have pointed out, because you really can’t live without faith.
And Cliff’s faith served him; I know he had challenges in his life, but you would have to say that he lived well:
There is, of course a shadow side to the idea–as there always is in life. Faith is built upon experiences: for example, in my life, I have a fair amount of faith in people to help others because *in my experience* that is a much more common thing than other, thankfully rarer but still real responses (such as theft or abuse, say). But that makes me tremble a bit when I consider what must have been the experience of the (relatively) faithless. What is it that leads one to consistently believe the worst of others? And how is it that some seem to transcend terrible experiences and attain a higher faith than one might think possible?
On the other hand, I’m grateful that that is not a burden I’m forced to carry–I probably should have written “I’m grateful that my burden of such experiences is not too heavy.”
Bob, I concur with what you have written, and I have missed your postings. Welcome back; and I welcome you to feel free to post them only when the muse calls.
As to how faith and trust resonate within my soul, they are aligned in several ways. Not only do they form a bond between individuals, they also form a bond between ego-self, soul-self, and the Deeper Mysteries of spiritual presence(s). I don’t mean this just as a catch-all statement. I mean it in terms of daily contemplative immersion, whether while on a walk or in sitting meditation; all of which helps sustain us in all of our relations.
Thanks for raising these important questions and concerns (as you always do).